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the island of conclusions

Year-End Comment Fic Round-Up I: "In Your Skin" (J2 ficlet)

the island of conclusions

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Year-End Comment Fic Round-Up I: "In Your Skin" (J2 ficlet)

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bright star
I'm corralling a couple of stray comment fics I wrote last spring, purely for record-keeping purposes (not posting them to coms). They are both pretty random, and I'm resisting the urge to try and make them better. They are both straight-up, shameless h/c.

The first is J2, written for the comment_away comment fic meme on "domesticity." The prompt was Jared making chicken soup from scratch for a sick Jensen. from ladyrhyanne .

Title: "In Your Skin"
Rating: pg-13
Word Count: 875
Disclaimer: These events are purely fictional, and bear no relation to the real lives of the persons whose names I've borrowed.

In Your Skin

It wasn’t that he was worried, Jared thought, as he scraped the peel off a carrot with a little more vigor than is strictly necessary. Just a rough night, is all.

Yeah, a rough night that had seen whatever bug had been bothering Jensen morph into a hacking cough that woke Jared up at 2 am to find Jensen sitting up in bed, hunched in on himself, hissing out a ragged mantra of obscenities in between harsh coughs. “Hey, you okay?” Jared had muttered, sleepily. “Do I sound okay?” Jensen shot back, though Jared was pretty sure his annoyance was directed more at himself than at Jared. “Fuck,” Jensen went on, in an undertone, between coughs, “motherfucker, fuck.” “Yeah, okay, I get it, sshh, sshh, take it easy,” Jared whispered, getting a hand up on Jensen’s back. His shirt was damp with sweat, and Jared could feel the fever right through it.

So Jared had pulled himself out of bed, and bustled around for a bit. Got Jensen some water and some medicine. And then got up again to make him a cup of tea. It all seemed to cool Jensen off a bit, but didn’t make much of a dent in the coughing, so eventually they had just settled down to wait it out: Jared propped up against the headboard, Jensen propped up against Jared. Jared smoothed his hands along Jensen’s ribs, across his hot forehead and through his hair, rubbed circles between his shoulder blades. It seemed to relax Jensen some, enough at least that the cursing started to peter out. But Jared had stayed on edge; he could feel each cough against his own body, could swear he could feel sympathetic twinges in his own ribs and stomach muscles, tightening in his own throat. Finally, just a little before dawn, the virus had backed off enough that Jensen had been able to fall into an exhausted sleep, still wedged firmly against Jared. But by then, Jared had been too wound up to do the same.

As soon as it started to get light, Jared had eased Jensen back under the covers. He was breathing pretty easily now, and wasn’t nearly as feverish. Deciding it was safe to leave him alone for a bit, Jared had gathered the dogs and headed out for a run. Jensen was still sleeping when he got back, so he worked out, showered, had some breakfast. Still sleeping. Jared wandered around the house for a bit, but couldn’t settle at anything. He didn’t know what was wrong with him: Jensen clearly just had a nasty chest cold, and he was sleeping it off, as any sensible person would. No reason for Jared to be so out of sorts. Finally, he grabbed the car keys, and headed out to the store. Maybe this is why people make chicken soup for sick people, he thought—not so much to make the sick person feel better, more to give their friends something to do while they were waiting for the sick person to wake up.

And it did help a bit, having something specific to do with his hands while Jensen obliviously slept on—-peeling onions and carrots, skinning the chicken, sorting out herbs. He paced around some more while the soup was cooking, and then, while he was straining it out, he suddenly realized what was bothering him.

It wasn’t that he was worried about Jensen, though, yeah, he was, a little. It was the shock of that intense physical sympathy, that sensation of feeling the pain in Jensen’s body as if it were his own. As if it maybe mattered more than his own. And okay—he was used to thinking about Jensen’s body—-he thought about it a lot, from pretty much every possible angle. But this—-this protectiveness, this intimacy—was different. And it was freaking him out a little. Okay—it was freaking him right the fuck out.

As if on cue, the owner of that body appeared at the kitchen door. “’time is it?” Jensen rasped, leaning heavily on the door frame. He was wearing boxers and a ratty old Texas A&M sweatshirt; he was still pale, with dark shadows around his eyes—but he looked a hell of a lot better than last night. Jared smiled at him. “Past noon, you slug, thought you’d never wake up.” “What’re you doing?” Jensen said, surveying the wreckage in the kitchen. “Soup,” Jared replied, almost embarrassed now by the scale of the undertaking. But it made Jensen smile. “You made me soup? You’ve got to be kidding me.” He laughed, but it turned into another round of coughing, and then of swearing, “Fuck me, that hurts, shit, this is ridiculous.”

“Anyone ever tell you you’ve got quite a mouth on you when you’re sick?” Jared said, coming over to support Jensen with one hand, pounding him lightly on the back with the other. “Only my mother,” Jensen smirked.

Jared snorted. “Go lie down on the couch before you fall down. I’ll bring you some soup.”

“Coffee—first coffee—then soup.” And just like that, whatever had been twisting Jared up in knots since last night dissolved, and it seemed like it was all going to be alright.

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